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Murase Taiitsu (1803-1881)
Last full moon of the seventh month (Enjoying the autumn moon in a boat)
Signed: Taiitsu Rôjin heidai
Seals: Taiitsu Rôjin sanzetsu & Hakusetsu
Technique: sumi on paper 127,8 x 45,2
Mounting: Lilac silk
wooden rollers, 197,2 x 59,5
Box: inscribed box
Condition: Toned and creases, otherwise good


The day after the full moon of the seventh month
Seven hundred years ago Su Dongpo went on a trip.
Let’s find a tub to go out with the fishing boats tonight;
The wise and the foolish differ but they share this feeling,
A dewy whiteness is on the river in the cool of the autumn moon.

Su Shi (1036–1101), also known as Su Dongpo, was a government official. He is one of the most famous poets in classical Chinese literature. His essay ‘Excerpts from The Red Cliff’ describes a boating party on the Yangzi River.

Murase Taiitsu, a highly individual and unconventional bunjin artist can be regarded as the Confucianist literati equivalent of the Zenga master Sengai Gibon (1750-1837).

Taiitsu was born in Gifu Prefecture. He was the second son in a large, wealthy and educated farmers family. In 1821 Taiitsu went to Nagoya to study with doctor Murase Rissai (1792-1851), a brother of Murase Tôjô (1791-1852), who had been a student of Shinozaki Shôchiku (1781-1851) and of San'yô (1780-1832). Taiotsu went to Kyoto to stay with San'yô, likely introduced by Tôjô. After San'yô's death in 1832 he returned to Nagoya to teach. When in 1840 the Keidôkan School was established by Naruse Seiju, a lord of the Inuyama clan, Tôjô was appointed head and in 1842 he invited Taiotsu to become a teacher there.

When the feudal educational system was abandoned at the beginning of the Meiji period he lost his position as a Confucian teacher. Being unemployed, living far from Kyoto and Tokyo, Taiotsu was free to behave as he pleased and to paint as he wished, he received little attention from anybody but his small circle of pupils and friends.
His life is full of anecdotes of which most seem to be true. He made a career with apparently impromptu childlike naïve paintings and poems and perhaps he was the greatest individualist among the early Meiji painters.

Addiss 1979
Oranda Jin 2015
Roberts p. 168
Araki p. 343

Availability: On Request